By Catherine Reid
A girl nearly died after wearing a tampon for just FIVE HOURS.
Katie Knight, from Inverness, Scotland, spent 48 hours being sick before she was rushed to hospital by her flatmate.
The 20-year-old spent four days in intensive care and was just hours from death after putting in the wrong tampon.
She suffered Toxic Shock Syndrome – a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly caused by wearing a tampon for too long or using the wrong absorbency tampon.
Katie said: “I genuinely thought I was going to die.
“It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life.”
Katie was at the tail-end of her period when she started feeling nauseous.
She had put in an extra-absorbent tampon as she was cramming for an assignment due the following day and was planning a full day of work in the university library.
After just five hours, the Glasgow University student had to get a taxi home and started being sick.
She said: “I was in the library trying to finish an assignment so I was pretty stressed when I started feeling unwell.
“I went down to the cafe to get a coffee and a piece of cake because thought it might be to do with my period, even though it was the fourth day.
“I then splashed my face with water as my essay was due the following day and I really needed to get it done.
“I ended up having to ring a taxi to take me home because I couldn’t walk.”
Katie, got back to her halls of residence and started violently being sick.
For the next 24 hours, she was in a constant cycle of throwing up and passing out every 25 minutes.
She said: “It escalated as soon as I got home, but I had no idea what was going on.
“I thought Toxic Shock Syndrome [TSS] was a myth.
“When I was being sick, the last thing I was thinking about was my period – and because I had no idea I had TSS, I left my tampon in.”
The following day, Katie got even worse and started having diarrhoea.
Her worried flatmate came into her room, which is when Katie started talking ‘gibberish’.
She said: “My flatmate, who’s thankfully training to be a doctor, came into my room because she hadn’t seen me for two days.
“Apparently I was just talking gibberish and making no sense whatsoever.
“She asked me what was wrong and I said my ‘activities were sore’.
“She took my temperature and rang the NHS who told me to go to A&E straight away.”
Esme – Katie’s flatmate – had to carry her into A&E because Katie couldn’t walk or talk by this point.
She was rushed into intensive care, by which point the tampon had been in for 48 hours.
Katie said: “On reflection, if I’d have taken my tampon out when I started feeling sick, maybe the infection wouldn’t have been so bad.
“It just got so out of hand and my period was the last thing on my mind.”
Katie spent a week in hospital, four days of which were in intensive care.
She said: “When I came round I had no idea what was wrong and was insistent they let me go.
“That’s when the doctor said to me that I needed to accept there was something seriously wrong and I might not make it through.
“I just cried and cried.”
Doctors found a tampon in her system which what lead them to the Toxic Shock Syndrome diagnosis.
Katie added: “I was wearing a super absorbency tampon on the fourth day of my period and they are commonly associated with Toxic Shock.
“I now prefer using sanitary towels as any tampon can cause TSS.”